Strong Storms Possible Saturday; February 27th System to remain well north of DC

A strong cold front will approach the DC Area on Saturday afternoon. High temperatures may soar into the lower to middle 70s. At this time, a widespread severe weather outbreak isn’t looking likely with the best dynamics (wind shear) remaining across northern Maryland near the Pennsylvania border. 

Latest GFS (image below courtesy WxBell) shows cold front approaching the spine of the Appalachians at 1PM Saturday:

gfs_ptype_thick_ma_15

The Cold front is forecast to pass through the DC region during the peak heating of the afternoon (image below 7pm Saturday):

gfs_ptype_thick_ma_16

High temperatures on Saturday may reach the lower to middle 70s:

gfs_t2m_b_washdc_15

Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), an ingredient forecasters look at when determining severe weather potential is relatively low (these numbers could increase as we get closer to Saturday and will need to be monitored in case the front slows down):

GFS Model (CAPE): 

gfs_cape_ma_15

Euro Model (CAPE):

eps_cape_c_ma_16

Latest North American Model shows what will likely be a squall line (line of heavy storms) moving across the Appalachians, eventually moving east across the National Capital Region:

At this time it appears that the best energy will stay just north of the Pennsylvania border, but of course our region may still end up being placed under “slight risk” of Severe Thunderstorms by the Storm Prediction Center, so will monitor closely. Any strong storms that do form will likely pose a main threat of gusty winds and small hail.

nam_ref_ma_29

The latest Ensemble and Operational forecast models keep a weakening wave of low pressure well north of DC on the 27th of February (I was hoping it would provide some light snow across our area). Some light snow may streak eastward into Pennsylvania and southern New England with increasing cloudiness and a few showers possible here. Boo! I know, it’s depressing. 

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